Here’s where we started yesterday:

Consider this:

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Cass, I like what you said about metagame power creep.  It’s true.  However, you are missing something.

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What do these things all have in common?

->They are huge EDH bombs.

This was probably where you started, and this is true, but this is not what they have in common.

These are the haymakers everyone likes to talk about, the cards that more or less “ruin games.”  The minute one of these cards happens, you are forced to shift into immediate “find answers or die” mode.  This is true, but this is not what they have in common.

(Side note to Thaumaturge on Overwhelming Stampede: clearly you’ve never played against my mono-green thing. =P )

What these cards have in common is they were all printed in the last three years.  (Props to those of you out there in Twitter-land and in the comments yesterday who nailed this.

àCass)

When did ramp become a thing?  It seems like it was always a thing, but that’s not really true.  Sure, it used to be that you could chain Rampant Growth into Kodama’s Reach into Skyshroud Claim, but was that a problem?

No.

The thing we think of as “ramp” became a thing when they printed PrimeTime.  PrimeTime was the thing that took your ramp and amplified it, and PrimeTime was the thing that turned every green deck into a ramp deck.  And then, for a brief period of time, you could live the dream of PrimeTime into Boundless Realms.  Comparing “old ramp” of Rampant Growth into Silverglade Elemental to “new ramp” of PrimeTime into Boundless Realms is like comparing a Razor scooter with an M1 Abrams tank.

The problem isn’t just that people are gradually sliding up the power level of their decks.  That was going to happen anyways.  The reason it is so notable is that we are getting somewhere between eight and twenty-four solid EDH playables out of every new set, and roughly five to ten insane bombs out of each block, and the power level of those cards is so ridiculously beyond previous cards that it is hard to accurately assess just how much they will effect things until they start making games suck.

The challenge with this is that you can’t ban everything, and nobody wants you to ban everything anyways.  It’s reasonable to expect that people will play the new nice things they have opened, and if the nice things they have opened happen to be broken, whose fault is that?  It’s not like they printed Increasing Ambition, a card that seemed pretty insane, and then immediately obsoleted it two sets later or anything, right?
Shucks.  I’m writing another ‘complaining about nice things’ article.  Fiddlesticks.

The problem is that the tokens deck arguably hit critical mass when they printed Beastmaster Ascension, and then they printed Avenger of Zendikar, and then they printed White Sun’s Zenith, and then they printed Parallel Lives, and then they printed Craterhoof Behemoth, and then they printed Rootborn Defenses.  I’ve had a tokens deck since before any of these cards existed, and at this point I am updating it by taking out the cards I had updated it with two sets ago.

The problem is that it’s awesome that they print cards for multiplayer and that means that a card like Exsanguinate gets templated as “each opponent” because that’s the multiplayer template, and now Ivory Mask doesn’t help and now the black thing only needs to set up and play one spell to kill everyone.

The problem is that I played a game the other day against a thirteen year-old playing Grimgrin.  He got out his Gravecrawler, and he got out his Diregraf Captain, and he played his general, and then he played Rooftop Storm.  He had no idea that he had just gone infinite until I told him.  Those cards are all from the same block.  They are logical things to play in your Grimgrin deck.

It’s not that you need to try to not break the format any more.  It’s that you need to try to not break the format by accident.

(How’s that Vandalblast playing in your Slobad deck, Cass?) 

(Dammit!

àCass, who pulled it immediately back out after remembering that his Slobad deck also ran Mycosynth Lattice…)

I have no good answer to this.  Really, I’m bringing it up because I like to cause problems.  The reason the metagame is slowly shifting is because the cards keep getting better.  I’m not going to say that the cards are getting too linear, except that I just did.

Be careful what you wish for.

TL;DR: Mr. P likes to complain about nice things.

XO,

->Mr P